Central agrees on teacher pay

INDEPENDENCE — Central School District board members approved a three-year contract with the Central Education Association at their Monday meeting.

The contract, which was unanimously approved by the board and by members of the teachers union, will provide a 3 percent cost-of-living increase to teachers’ salaries each year for the next three years.

Central administrators, board members and teachers were pleased with the outcome of negotiations.

“Relay your thanks to the district’s bargaining team,” said Ben Gorman, president of the CEA and language arts teacher at Central High School. “They put in a lot of effort. We came to a conclusion that I think is fair.”

Board Chairman Steve Love said the economic package included in the new contract makes Central more competitive as a district.

“I think we’ll be in the top third, which is where we want to be,” Love said.

In addition to the COLA increases, the new contract gives employees more flexibility to rotate between buildings, provides a higher starting salary for teachers, and continues to invest in curriculum and teacher development, Love said.

“I think all of us can say we are committed to providing a great place to work,” he said. “Ultimately, all of these things go toward student achievement.”

Gorman said he hopes the community can understand the efforts put in by members of the board and its bargaining team.

“Your job is almost entirely thankless because you only hear from folks when they have complaints,” he said. “I hope the community understands your efforts ... really did pay off.”

The contract was ratified by CEA union members on Monday. The document was still being written up at press time.

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